Less than a year ago, retired Army Gen. David Petraeus, one of America’s greatest military minds post World War II, pleaded guilty in federal court to removing and retaining classified information.
The charge resulted in a $100,000 fine, two years probation, and a completely soiled reputation for Mr. Petraeus, who shared paper notebooks containing confidential information with Paula Broadwell, his then biographer-turned-mistress.
And, just as Americans thought the Petraeus scandal was over, it became public that the Pentagon is considering retroactively demoting Mr. Petraeus, further muddying his name and potentially concluding with him owing hundreds of thousands of dollars to the government.
However, while Mr. Petraeus admitted to his crimes and has attempted to right his wrongs, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to deny wrongdoing in her email scandal, despite the fact that numerous messages containing highly classified information have already been recovered from her home server.
Fox News reported Thursday that emails on Mrs. Clinton’s “unsecured, homebrew server contained intelligence from the U.S. government’s most secretive and highly classified programs,” information even more confidential than the previous emails on her server labeled “top secret.”
But loyal Clinton supporters continue to thoughtlessly stand behind her, shrugging off the latest findings as an example of the inspector general “playing politics,” repeatedly claiming what Mr. Petraeus did was much worse and that Mrs. Clinton should not be charged.
They are simply wrong.
Mr. Petraeus undeniably broke the law and has suffered the consequences, but in no way was his keeping of notebooks containing confidential information inside his guarded home worse than Mrs. Clinton’s extended use of an unsecured server filled with classified information.
In order to prosecute Mrs. Clinton for espionage for failing to meet her obligation to safeguard the state secrets that were entrusted to her, the government does not need to prove that she intended to expose the secrets, but only that she was negligent.
And the evidence of Mrs. Clinton’s negligence is beyond overwhelming.
By housing of over 1,300 emails containing classified information on her unsecured server and instructing her subordinates to remove “confidential” and “secret” document designations when sending them, Mrs. Clinton left America susceptible to immeasurable harm with the possibility of her server being hacked by American enemies.
Mrs. Clinton even went as far as to send an American satellite photo of a North Korean nuclear facility over her unsecured server, potentially exposing the time, location, and method of American surveillance to the North Koreans.
She should be charged with espionage.
Mrs. Clinton’s conscious decision to share classified information on her unsecured server was in no way, shape, or form a minor excusable mishap, as her staunch defenders would like for Americans to believe.
However, as Mr. Petraeus’s career as a 4-star General is permanently over, Mrs. Clinton hopes to serve as commander in chief.
America cannot let a person who carelessly jeopardized highly classified information hold the nation’s highest office, giving her access to even more state secrets to expose.
It’s time for Mrs. Clinton’s run to end and for her to face the consequences of her actions.
Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law.